What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is an incredibly helpful way of utilizing a variety of art forms to help seniors and those with health issues become more relaxed, less stressed and having an overall positive effect in their life. The type of media used is only limited by your own creativity and can include everything from painting to simple coloring in coloring books.
How Does Art Therapy Work?
Working with art mediums can be helpful in a variety of ways.
- Developing Social Skills
- Reduce Anxiety
- Positive Mental Health
- Increased Brain Activity
- Restoring and Improving Functions
- Increased Self-Esteem
- Manage Behavioral Issues
- Help Improve Reality Orientation
- Develop or Restore Small Motor Skills
The Ease of Bringing Art Therapy To Seniors
An excellent way of bringing Art Therapy to seniors and those who may be homebound is by offering art media that’s very simple and easy to obtain.
- Coloring Pages and Books – Adult coloring pages that you can print out for free, adult coloring books are inexpensive, and even dollar store children’s coloring books for those who need more simplistic pages can all be used as art therapy. Choose colored pencils, crayons, or markers to use.
- Phone, Pad, or Notebook Apps – Using free apps on your phone (simply type adult coloring in your app store to find free apps) can help those who are unable to use coloring pencils, crayons, or markers by offering the use of fingers or a stylus that you simply click the color you want and the area you want to fill.
- Painting with Watercolors – Depending on the ability of the person who will be painting there are a variety of resources available to get started with simple painting and techniques. There are free videos online that can help you learn to paint, canvas can be purchased from local craft stores or online.
- Local Art Classes – CBS Baltimore shares some excellent resources listing a variety of art mediums and courses that are offered in the Baltimore, MD area. Finding local art classes could be an excellent way to get you and your loved one out of the house to enjoy reducing stress for both you, as a caregiver, and your loved one.
Proof of the Positive Effects of Art Therapy
Art therapy is often provided by therapists who are accredited by the AATA; however, art therapy can be helpful by simply providing an art medium to work with. While there can be a lot more involved in actual therapy using art as a therapy resource, providing something as simple as coloring can still provide relaxing and beneficial effects of art therapy.
This online Toolkit can help you understand more about how to implement art therapy in the life of your loved one. You or a hired caregiver can introduce art therapy into the life of your senior loved one by simply providing something as simple as coloring pages or a coloring app on a notebook or notepad.
Photo by Steve Corey